Simmonds’s positive mood prevails ahead of 200m despite seventh place

Beverley’s Lizzie Simmonds expressed delight at matching her previous World Championship best on what was a mixed day for Yorkshire’s swimmers in Shanghai.

The 20-year-old finished seventh in the 100m backstroke final, equalling her performance in Rome two years ago.

But there was disappointment for Northallerton’s Jo Jackson and Rotherham’s Joe Roebuck, who failed to reach the semi-finals of their disciplines.

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Simmonds, 20, was swimming from lane one, the same lane from which Rebecca Adlington won Great Britain’s only medal in the pool so far in the 400m freestyle.

The Loughborough ITC swimmer could not force her way into the reckoning and finished in 59.89 seconds, with Zhao Jing, Anastasia Zueva and Natalie Coughlin taking the medals.

Simmonds has endured a difficult start to the year with the form that saw her win gold and silver at last year’s European Championships deserting her.

But with her main focus this week on the 200m backstroke, she was nevertheless pleased with her performance.

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She said: “It was just so great to be in that final. It makes it all the more worthwhile after the year I’ve had.

“The 200m is my better event, so to go through in an event that doesn’t mean so much is really good for me.”

Jackson and Adlington failed to reach the semi-finals of the 200m freestyle. Jackson, 24, won three medals at the last World Championships in Rome but after battling severe asthma the Olympic bronze medallist has been struggling for consistent form and she admitted there was little left in the tank after the halfway point of yesterday’s heat.

Jackson said: “I’m a bit disappointed, I definitely had more in me. I’ve been feeling really good. I’ll keep going for next year.”

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Roebuck, 26, admitted to being bemused and bewildered at his early exit in the 200m butterfly, though he is adament he will make a better fist of a bid to win a medal in his favoured 200m individual medley later this week.

“You never really know what is going to happen with your first swim,” said the European 200m medley bronze medallist.

“I should have been able to take some big names down but it was quite confusing, I didn’t know what time I finished in and it got really hard in the last 25m.

“I guess it was my first swim so I’ll just use it to help with my heat in the 200m medley.”